Rangers defeat Royals after no collision at home plate

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Seriously, that’s why they won.

In a 6-6 game in the ninth, Mike Napoli tried to score all of the way from first on an Elvis Andrus single to right.  The relay from Mitch Maier to Eric Hosmer to Brayan Pena got to the plate in plenty of time.

In fact, there was so much time that Pena assumed Napoli would try to bowl him over in his only home of scoring (Click here to see the play).

Instead, Napoli slid in under an out-of-position Pena and home-plate umpire Mike Estabrook surprisingly made the correct call.  Pena’s tag came way up the body on Napoli’s arm after Napoli it looked like both of Napoli’s feet had already touched home plate.

The shocking ending could overshadow what would have been the prime storyline for the game: more struggles from both Neftali Feliz and Joakim Soria.  Feliz, who entered a tie game in the top of the ninth, gave up an unearned run and nearly got charged with a loss to add to his three blown saves in four appearances against the Royals this season.

Soria, though, let him off the hook.  He gave up a game-tying homer to Nelson Cruz to start the bottom of the ninth.  Two more hits followed, but it looked like Soria would escape with the score tied when Napoli attempted to score.  Instead, he was charged with both the blown save and the loss.

Phillies, Red Sox interested in Carlos Santana

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The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.

Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.

As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.